Scientific Name: Ceryle rudis
Name: Pied Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher has black and white plumage. It is impossible to confuse this medium-sized bird with other kingfisher. Male has black crest and crown, white stripe above the eye, black larger stripe across the eye extending on nape, and white throat and collar. Upperparts are black with white edges giving a mottled aspect. Rump is streaked black and white. We can see white spots on the wing coverts. Underparts are white, finely barred with two black lines, the higher being broader and often broken in the middle. Bill is black, long and similar to a dagger. Eyes are dark brown. Legs and feet are blackish. Female has only one breast band, narrower than male and also broken in the middle.
Size in cm:
Size in Inch
white (Bird may have more colors)
Pied Kingfisher populations are not threatened. Pied Kingfisher is one of the Kingfishers the most widespread in the world.
Habit and habited:
Pied Kingfisher lives close to the water, near large rivers, in estuaries, near small and large lakes, coastal lagoons, on rocky and sandy coasts, close to fresh or brackish water tanks. It needs perches close to water, as trees, fences, posts and others.
Pied Kingfisher’s typical call is a loud, penetrating and repeated "kwik" or "kik", and a high-pitched “TREEtiti TREEtiti ".
The Pied Kingfisher is a water kingfisher and is found widely distributed across Africa and Asia. Their black and white plumage, crest and the habit of hovering over clear lakes and rivers before diving for fish makes it distinctive.
This kingfisher is 20cm long and is white with a black mask, a white supercilium and black breast bands. The crest is neat and the upperparts are barred in black. Several subspecies are recognized within the broad distribution.
This kingfisher feeds mainly on fish, although it will take crustaceans and large aquatic insects such as dragonfly larvae. It usually hunts by hovering over the water to detect prey and diving vertically down bill-first to capture fish. When not foraging, they have a straight rapid flight.
They can deal with prey without returning to a perch, and so can hunt over large water bodies or in estuaries that lack perches that are required by other kingfishers. Unlike some kingfishers, it is quite gregarious, and forms large roosts at night.
The breeding season is February to April. Its nest is a hole excavated in a vertical mud bank about five feet above water. The nest tunnel is 4 to 5 feet deep and ends in a chamber. Several birds may nest in the same vicinity. The usual clutch is 3-6 white eggs. The pied kingfisher sometimes reproduces co-operatively, with young non-breeding birds from an earlier brood assisting parents OR even unrelated older birds. In India, nestings have been found to be prone to maggot infestations and in some areas to leeches.